DÜSSELDORF - He was a leader, he was technically brilliant and as physical as always. Big Rom was at his bullying best - just ask Leverkusen’s centre-backs, who had to deal with Lukaku all night long. It was virtually impossible to get the ball off him. He did everything, including scoring a record-breaking goal. Lukaku is the first player in the history of the UEFA Cup/Europa League to score in nine consecutive matches: after his time at Everton, the Belgian has scored in all four of his matches in the competition with Inter. Furthermore, Lukaku has, for this first time in his career, scored more than 30 goals in a single season in all competitions (currently on 31): the last Inter player to score more in a single season was Eto’o (37) in 2010/11.
After the game, the Inter number 9 had this to say: “This win today is really important for us because Bayer Leverkusen have quality and are a good team. We missed too many chances, but luckily we won. The defence were excellent and Barella was, for me, the best player on the pitch. He played incredibly well and is growing a lot. Physically, we feel fine. We’re taking strides forward, but games like this need to be killed off sooner. However, the important thing is to win, and we now have a week to get ready for the next match. The semi-final will be a great game and we need to be ready.
“We had to soak up a lot of pressure, but the team did that well. I’ve always wanted to win, ever since I was little. I’ve always said that I will give my all for this team, and now we need to get ready for the next game. We’re a great team: my teammates help me a lot, otherwise I couldn’t do these things and achieve these numbers. Young played in a great ball to me, my teammates look for me: we’re doing well together, all of us.”